The Bipartisan MOBILE Health Care Act has been introduced by Representatives Susie Lee (D-NV, Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA), Raul Ruiz (D-CA), and Richard Hudson (R-NC).
Today, in the U.S 1 in 11 Americans, including 400,000 veterans and 8.7 million children rely on Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC) for their healthcare. While FQHCs have been highly successful in expanding quality healthcare nationwide, there are too many small and rural communities that do not have the population base to support full time health centers and would greatly benefit from the use of mobile health units. Also, there are FQHCs that now serve critical need areas with high patient demand that lack adequate space to offer the full range of care and desperately need funding to expand.
HRSA’s Health Center New Access Points (NAP) grant program provides operational support for FQHCs new service delivery sites to provide primary care services. However, currently the NAP program has significant restrictions on FQHCs using the NAP grants for construction costs or expand their services via mobile clinics.
The bill would expand allowable use criteria in the NAP grant program to include mobile clinics, and building renovation, acquisition, or construction costs to increase access to affordable, quality care in rural and underserved communities.
Allowable use would also include acquiring, leasing, expanding, or renovating mobile medical vehicles or equipment to establish a new delivery site serving medically underserved populations so access to care is expanded in small and rural communities.
According to Tom Van Coverden, President & CEO, NACHC, “This legislation would give health centers, the flexibility to expand access to care to millions of patients in medically underserved and rural areas such as homeless and older adults. The bill would also allow health centers to use mobile clinics to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
For more information, go to https://susielee.house.gov, click on Media for the press release.